05 Jul

If I Had 25 Hours Left to Live…

In my yoga teacher training course we had to write a series of essays. Not the kind with a works cited and MLA format* and a thesis; these were more like journals on a particular topic.

*Is this still applicable to essay writing? I studied math in university; we proved things with number and symbols not theses.

In our final ceremony we sat in a big circle and passed a candle from person to person as we all shared our last essay “If I Had 25 Hours Left to Live…” I wrote mine before I found out that the 25 was a typo, and before I found out that I would have to share it with the group. I thought about writing the obvious– spending my last hours eating a big meal with my favourite people– but it sounded boring and I wanted to think of something more awesome. That started up all these questions in my head which I ended up writing down and handing in as my essay, without really answering the original question.

I found out, on more than one occasion this past month, that people find me funny. My humour is entirely unintentional, so evidently my normal thoughts are something to laugh about (I’m still not sure how to take that). Anyway, my point is, my peers found my essay absolutely hilarious and made me promise to publish it. I think ‘hilarious’ is a stretch, but in any case I stayed true to my word.


If I Had 25 Hours Left to Live…

… I would have a hell of a lot of questions.  Mostly questions without answers. And given their philosophical nature I’d likely spend a good chunk of my brief time on earth in deep contemplation.

For starters, why twenty-five hours? Why not twenty-four? Every day of my life I’ve wished for an extra hour, so while perhaps I should be grateful, it seems like a cruel joke that God decided to finally grant me those sixty minutes on the day of my death. Figures, eh?

I also want to know how exactly I will die. Am I already in the process of slowly dying over these twenty-five hours? Will my body shut down a little bit at a time, one organ, then another, then another? If this is the case it would be a nice bonus to know the order of deterioration so I can organize and categorize my bucket list in the most efficient way possible. (I’d want to make sure I go on my dessert binge before my pancreas fails. Just sayin’.)

Am I going to die suddenly when the clock strokes 25:00 hours? That would give me much more freedom to tick off my bucket list. How great! …

… unless of course that sudden death is going to be some excruciatingly painful, horror movie situation. In that case I have to figure out a method of securing a solid supply of anesthesia or, failing that, I hear horse tranquilizers aren’t too hard to get your hands on.

And, good heavens!, why do I only have 25 hours left to live? Did I do something wrong? Was it something I said? Is this some sort of test? Do I have to do something good and kind and wonderful so that when 25 o’clock rolls around God says: “Naw, you’re cool. You can live to die another 25 hour day.”  If this is the case I wouldn’t even know where to start—doing good deeds is harder than securing horse tranquilizers! (Oh, maybe that’s why my hours are numbered!)

So assuming I fail the do-gooder test, I should probably start planning my funeral, getting all my finances in order, and maybe making a phone call to my lawyer before I address my bucket list. Work then play, so it goes in death as in life.

Now that everything is in order I realize I’ve just taken up an hour addressing all my questions and concerns. That 25 hour window is starting to make sense—smooth move God. So 24 hours left now and time is ticking…I guess it’s time to start actually writing that bucket list. With any luck I’ll get a chance to tick off a couple of items before the hour of my death comes.

01 Jul

Lifepower Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga certified, bitches!200 hours and 85,956 Chaturangas later…

It’s official! I’m a certified Yoga Teacher!

Yesterday was the final class of the 200 hour Lifepower yoga teacher training program with Jonny Kest and Jason Hulshof at the Viagra in Michigan.

I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I signed up for the programme. I have always thought yoga was this freakin’ amazing mind/body exercise that everyone should do and I’m always encouraging (with a rather low success ratio, unfortunately) everyone I know to do it with me.

And what better way to share yoga than to teach it, right?

My very first time doing yoga was in my basement with a yoga video that I bought from Wal-Mart when I was 10, coincidentally, during my incense-burning, poetry writing, “hippie phase”. I thought it was so awesome because as a fat, out-of-shape, and uncoordinated child it seemed like a breeze of a workout. So, what you’re saying is, all I have to do is sit here and breathe? I totally got this! I breathe, like, everyday.

As much as I love yoga, the whole culture behind it is way out of my comfort zone, so the first four days were exceedingly awkward.

(You can get a glimpse of what my yoga teacher training days were like in my last post.)

Everyone spoke fluent Sanskrit and called the studio “The Centre”—I was getting a serious Cult vibe. It didn’t help that our first class of the day started with an invocation that everyone chanted together while I sat in the back corner hoping no one noticed the “what in the actual fuck?” expression on my face. This morning class was Ashtanga, a style which I don’t even like, and it started at some ungodly hour, which meant I arrived at “The Center” on a daily basis baggy-eyed, disheveled, exhausted, and then, upon hearing the invocation, ultimately creeped out.

Center for Yoga BirminghamYoga Teacher Training (1)

“The Centre” – Birmingham and West Bloomfield MI

I learned that every meal I’ve ever eaten in my life was wrong. Obligatory ‘yoga meals’ prevented me from enjoying my typical massive plates of food shoveled hastily into my mouth while standing up at the kitchen counter reading The Game of Thrones.

I had the chance to practice teach Sun Salutations and everything that came out of my mouth was choppy and nonsensical. I was terrified of teaching in front of the entire group and completely fucking it up, because the level of nitpickiness in the feedback sessions afterwards was out of control, to the point that students were pointing out single words that they didn’t like. And here I am unable to even form coherent sentences in my practice teaching. I never realized how hard this teaching thing could be.

Teacher Training (2)Chillin’ on the mat in anatomy class, excited to be the class Poster Child for Joint Compression

I found myself in the company of some seriously emotional people. Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m a cynical and unfeeling cyborg, so it was tough for me to handle all the sharing. So many feelings! I felt a bit like a man in a room full of women all experiencing PMS at the exact same time– bored, uncomfortable, and dying to get out. People opened their hearts. People shared some pretty deep shit. People cried. All the while, I tried my hardest to pretend like I had emotions too; it was exhausting.

I was physically exhausted by going from two yoga classes a week to two a day. I was emotionally exhausted from being so damn nervous all the time and from pretending to be emotional in the first place.

And then, on day 5, we had a day of silent meditation: an entire day of sitting in a dark room with our